Housing markets around the world – both rental and buyers – are becoming increasingly difficult to participate in. As prices soar, millions are being plunged further and further into financial insecurity in an attempt to keep a roof over their head. This mother and daughter from the Sunshine Coast in Australia are having such a hard time with it, that it looks as though living in a tent will be their only option. That’s right: The rental market is essentially pushing them into homelessness. (1)
Mother and Daughter Buy A Tent After Being Rejected From 70 Rental Homes
The prospect of living in a tent for anything more than a few days on a camping trip was never something that had crossed Jayanne Hughes’ mind. She especially never imagined her 70-year-old mother having to. Unfortunately, this is the position they have found themselves in.
After living in their Gold Coast rental unit for 17 years, Jayanne and her mother Dianne have to leave. The owner of the unit is moving back from South Africa and wants to live in the home. Unfortunately, the current Australian rental market has gone through the roof. It’s extremely competitive and the costs have risen to astronomical heights.
Jayanne and her mother have spent months searching for a new home, with their move-out date inching closer and closer. They have applied for 70 different homes. Of those, they have only been invited to inspect three of them. Someone else leased every other property before they were even offered an inspection date. (2)
“Mum and I travelled up to Gympie every week, sometimes twice a week, to the real estates to get familiar with them and let them know we are still there and still interested,” said Jayanne. “We are putting in applications to view (a property), and before we even get a chance to look at it, we get a message saying ‘sorry an application has been accepted.”
Why Aren’t They Being Accepted?
This is the big question that Jayanne and Dianne have. For the last 17 years, they have consistently been months ahead of rent. They have even tried offering more money and outbidding, but their applications just aren’t being accepted. Jayanne, who works in mental health, says that she, herself, is reaching a breaking point.
She explains that based on her weekly income and her mother’s monthly pension, their rental application is eligible only for $350 per week, which is 30 percent of their income. With even the most basic two-bedroom units going for way more than that, most landlords won’t even consider them. Despite this, they earn too much to qualify for assistance from the department of housing.
“I think it’s outlandish to be renting a two-bedroom unit or house for over $400 per week,” she said.
Looking At Tent Life
This is why Jayanne went out and bought a tent for her and her mother. As their move-out date gets closer and closer, it is looking like they won’t have a choice. This is not ideal, especially for Dianne. At 70 years of age, she had shoulder surgery just a couple of weeks ago and has a minimum three-month-long recovery ahead of her. Living in a tent does not make for good recovery conditions.
“I don’t even know where to go with the tent and the two stretcher beds I’ve bought,” said Jayanne. “I keep telling her it’s going to be okay, but I’ve been telling her that for months.”
Jayanne has been under stress for months now trying to find a suitable home for her aging mother to live in. Now, she is even more stressed, as she feels like she is failing her mother.
Why Is the Rental Market So Competitive?
There are a number of reasons why the rental market, particularly on the Sunshine Coast, has completely exploded. First of all, demand is higher than supply to a greater extent than ever before in history. Rents have increased by hundreds of dollars as a result. This has priced many long-time residents out of their normal areas. (3)
Secondly, investors are buying properties. This increases rents because they are charging higher prices to help them cover their own costs. During COVID, we also saw many couples who were living together split up. This means many newly single people are looking for furnished rentals, in particular, men.
“This [the market] is the highest it’s ever been, it’s never been this crazy,” said property manager Carin Van Der Walt.
Van Der Walt suggests seeking the help of a realtor, even if you’re just looking for a rental. You can also take online courses to help improve your application and better your chances of being accepted.
What do you think of this situation? Are rental prices out of reach in your area as well? Let us know in the comments.
Keep Reading: Goodbye Nursing Homes? New Trend: CoHousing With Friends!
- “‘Breaking point’: rejected for a rental 70 times, this mother and daughter have now bought a tent” Sunshine Coast News. October 22, 2021.
- “Mum and daughter buy tent after being rejected by 70 rental homes” Yahoo!News. October 23, 2021
- “‘Never been this crazy’: the Coast’s rental market has ‘exploded’ and there are a number of reasons” Sunshine Coast News. October 5, 2021.